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5 Events Signaling it is Time to Change Phone Providers

Posted by Mark Greim on Dec 4, 2018 9:50:00 AM

Changing phone providers isn't (and shouldn't be) top of mind for most businesses.  Investing in and managing the core business is always the priority, with infrastructure investments left to wait for the right time.  So, when is the right time?  There are some advantages from a strategic and efficiency standpoint that could make sense to implement at any time, but there are also some clear events that signal that it is time to change phone service providers and move to a VoIP phone system.

My_Phone_System_Crashed.jpgMy Phone System is Failing.  As phone systems age, businesses spend more and more time and resources on keeping it working.  This is an expense that is often overlooked when evaluating a system change.  The clearest signal that it is time to change is when the contractor used to maintain the system no longer supports the model.  Many times, parts are no longer available through normal distribution channels or are no longer being manufactured.  If your phone system parts are only available on eBay, then it's definitely time to make a move!

A great alternative to on-site phone systems is moving to a Hosted VoIP solution.  The problems cited above will not recur as it is the responsibility of the hosted VoIP provider to maintain and advance the phone system and service.  The business only purchases the VoIP phones, thus the only expense down the road will be for the occasional phone addition or replacement.

My Business is Moving.  This is a great time for businesses to evaluate their current phone system and provider.  Instead of spending the money on moving an old phone system, invest in a Hosted VoIP system.  The investment costs in Hosted VoIP are low because only VoIP phones are purchased.  The money saved on moving a system and potentially selling that system will more than likely offset the cost of the new VoIP phones.  Additionally, moving to a Hosted VoIP platform will provide additional flexibility to the business, as phones can be deployed anywhere there's access to high-speed internet.

Term_Contacts_bad_for_Phone_Service.jpgMy Telecom Contract is Expiring.  This is an obvious time to evaluate options, both on the phone service and phone system.  It is an opportunity to potentially save money on the monthly expenditure and remove the potential for non-budgeted expenses on phone system maintenance and obsolescence.  As stated earlier, the phone system and service are not necessarily top of mind for business executives.  Take a moment to review your current telecom contract to find the expiration date.  Your current provider will not likely remind you that your contract is expiring and you will find yourself auto-renewed.

You will find the telecom landscape has changed since you last signed your contract.  Most Hosted VoIP providers do not require contracts.  If they do, evaluate providers who do not, as there is no value in a term contract, except for the provider.  If the term contract is to secure pricing or concessions, you will find other providers have similar price advantages without requiring a term contract.

Phone Bill Rate Increase.jpgMy Provider Raised My Rates...Again!  One of the biggest complaints we hear about traditional phone service providers is that they raise their rates routinely.  There's typically fine print in any contract signed that allows for rates to be adjusted mid-term.  Moreover, rate increases are hidden in mysterious new surcharges that somehow appear on the bill.  They always sound "official" like "Recovery Fee".  The fact of the matter is that traditional telecommunication companies are losing traditional land lines in droves, and they're trying desperately to maintain margins by increasing their rates.

Get out of the cycle of absorbing rate increases and evaluate your options, as there are plenty out there!  At sipVine, we have never increased prices.  If fact, we have only lowered our prices since our inception in 2005.  Moreover, our published rates include any real surcharge costs we incur and we only add sales tax to our invoice.  Clearly, there are great alternatives to your current situation!

SIP_5ptchecklist_300x400.pngMy Competition has a Communication Advantage.  It may not be easily identified, but if your competition has moved to a Hosted VoIP platform, there are a number of advantages they have when it comes to their communication strategy.  Many areas can be made to be more efficient with direct inward dialing, call flow decisions, heightened remote or key contact availability, auto attendant features, and many more advanced communication features.  Where the previous four events are not high mindshare activities of business executives, leveraging infrastructure to create a competitive cost, efficiency, and communication advantage should be.  This is a great reason to evaluate a Hosted VoIP solution today!

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of VoIP phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.

Tags: Hosted VoIP, Moving Phone Service, Telecom Term Agreements, Phone System Replacement

Auto Renewals: A Bad Telecom Legacy

Posted by Mark Greim on Feb 3, 2015 11:12:00 AM

As a business, you're excited about the opportunity to evaluate new technologies and drive benefits to your organization.  After all, a Hosted VoIP system is becoming commonly accepted as not just the technology of the future, but of the present.  Your peers in your industry are moving to these services and they come highly recommended.  You've calculated the benefits to your business, determined your return on investment, and selected your new hosted VoIP provider.  Now, you turn to your existing telephone service and, after struggling to even find the right person to talk to, find out that, BAM, your service was auto renewed for another year!Term_Contacts_bad_for_Phone_Service

This is not a story presented merely for effect.  It is a reality that occurs every day.  As telecom companies desperately hang on to their old, analog technologies, they rely upon the shackles of term contracts and the dreaded, insulting, and gutless auto renewal to keep their customers hostage.  We'll set aside the question of the auto renewal for a moment and discuss the other bad legacy at play here, the term contract.

How are businesses convinced that a term contract for their telecom services is a good thing to begin with?  It's all about feeling like they are getting the best deal.  First, they are presented with the merits of a bundle of services on a single bill, albeit a confusing bill.  Then, they see that the overall price is reduced for the bundle for each year tacked on to the term.  They sign the order, and all is good.  But, is it?  Many times, the order signed references terms and conditions that are not attached, but available on line.  These terms are rarely reviewed and certainly not negotiable.  Typically, they are not discovered until the business is ready to make a change or when their agreed upon pricing increases during the term.

Most businesses in this situation are usually of the belief that they are out of term and free to make a change or negotiate a renewal.  After searching hard and actually finding someone who can effectively answer questions regarding their service, they discover that their contact auto renewed for another year a month ago without any notice or warning.   Following the example above, they are shocked that such terms existed in the first place.  Telecom companies claim that they are doing the business a service in that they are staying with their current bundle price and didn't revert to a higher, non-term price.  However, all they accomplished was to further drive dissatisfaction with the situation and shackle the customer to one or more years.

It may be deemed to be a little indulgent that this message is being crafted by a company who doesn't believe in term contracts and has a clear philosophy of earning our customers' business every day.  Perhaps, but we literally run into this exact scenario each day when working with businesses who are ready to invest in VoIP technology.  It is a sad situation and a bad legacy of the industry, one that needs to change.

What should your business do?  First, evaluate your current telecom contracts and seek out the specifics of your term.  Then, you will at least know your options and the time frame in which you have to either seek out alternatives or attempt to negotiate a renewal with more favorable terms.  With the rate of exodus from traditional telecom providers, they may be more flexible in the future when it comes to term and price negotiation.  If you don't want to bet on that becoming reality, examine your alternatives and what new technology from new providers can provide your business.  Many offer no contacts, clear, competitive pricing, and cutting-edge, but affordable technology.  Your business deserves to be free from the shackles of term contracts and auto renewals!

 

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of VoIP phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments. 

Tags: Changing Phone Service Providers, Moving Phone Service

Lessen Your Business Moving Day Anxiety with Digital Phone Service

Posted by Mark Greim on May 24, 2010 9:22:00 AM

Moving is stressful enough on your business, and you can quit worrying about whether your phone service will be up and running in time by going digital!  sipVine has helped many new customers ease this tension by implementing hosted digital phone service prior to their move date.

Timing your digital phone service move

The previous plan for these prospective customers was to attempt to time their switch over to the new facility with their current carrier.  This involved provisioning their new lines and coordinating their cut over with the provider.  Depending upon the reliability and timeliness of the provider’s service department and the efficiency of moving their existing phone equipment, the business was potentially facing a period where they would be out of service for a period of time.

By choosing sipVine, we counseled these new customers to implement their new hosted digital phone service prior to their move.  The porting of the phone numbers is taken care of in advance of the move and everyone is well trained on all the new features and benefits they receive from the digital phone service.  The new location is provisioned with an internet connection and it is all ready for the move.  On moving day, they simply plug their new phones into their Ethernet connection, connect the internet to the router, and they’re making and receiving phone calls!

Additionally, these customers are able to save money on their wiring, as they only need to wire for Cat5 or Cat6 Ethernet.  They can also choose to deploy Power over Ethernet switches for their digital phones and conserve on the number of outlets in offices they need to wire.

If your business is preparing for a move, consider it to be a time to enhance your phone system’s capabilities and lessen your move anxiety at the same time!  Call sipVine for a consult!

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVinea provider of a variety of digital phone solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments.   

 

Tags: hosted digital phone service, Business Digital Phone Service, Moving Phone Service

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